Once again, the Villanova University M. Fitzpatrick College of Nursing is ranked among the top graduate nursing programs in the country in the annual U.S. News & World Report's 2020 edition of Best Graduate Schools released March 12. The top 30 ranking reflects a continued upward trajectory acknowledged by nursing deans from across the nation who participated in the peer evaluation survey, one of 14 quality indicators used in the ranking that also include those related to research activity and faculty expertise. Villanova Nursing is also the second highest rated program in the Philadelphia region according to survey results.
“Building on strategic initiatives and aligning with national priorities, we have invested in our Graduate Program to meet the professional needs of nurses and the populations they serve,” notes Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor. “That investment is growing an already strong reputation we have earned among our fellow dean and C-suite colleagues since launching graduate nursing education at Villanova in 1980.”
The Graduate Nursing Program provides a high-quality education to nurses, enabling them to expand their knowledge base, enrich their skills and advance their careers. Graduates are prepared to care, innovate, research and lead in practice, education and related settings as they embrace the challenges of professional practice.
Assistant Dean and Director of the Graduate Program, Marguerite K. Schlag, EdD, RN, explains, “This ranking speaks to both the dedication of our faculty exemplars who collaborate with students to address emerging issues, as well as to the rigor of our curriculum– one built on science, ensuring that our graduates integrate evidence as they effectively design and provide care to meet the future needs of the health care system.”
The College’s Graduate Nursing Program includes master’s and post-master’s tracks in nursing education and adult-gerontology, family and pediatric primary care nurse practitioner concentrations. The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program includes a post-baccalaureate option for Nursing Anesthesia and a post-master’s option for advanced practice nurses and nurse administrators. For the second year in a row, the DNP ranked in the top 50 of national programs. While not a category included in the USNews & World Report survey, the Graduate Program also has a PhD program to prepare teacher scholars for careers in academic settings. Undergraduate nursing programs in the U.S. are not similarly ranked.
In addition to this 2020 USNews ranking, the College enjoys status as an inaugural holder of the National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education designation, one it has earned five consecutive times since that designation’s inception in 2004.